persimmonfrost: (caddy)


Gustave Doré's illustration to Dante's Inferno...

Gustave Doré’s illustration to Dante’s Inferno. Plate XXII: Canto VII: The hoarders and wasters. Oh yes, there’s a place in hell for the likes of me.

I spent all last week cleaning my bedroom.  A week, you ask in horror, imagining a scene from “Hoarders?”  Well yeah, and there’s a reason why.  Several, really, that I’ve been thinking a lot about as I schlepped and dusted and mopped and sorted.

I’m coming up on the five year anniversary of moving here.  Before that I’d spent about fifteen years caring for my parents in a home that became increasingly cluttered due to… well a lot of things.  They were in the antique and resale business for more than 50 years, and kept quite a lot of wonderful stuff for themselves (and me.)  When Dad retired, a lot more stuff came upstairs, got stored in the basement or out in the garage. (I don’t even like to think about the fact that I walked away from a full garage and a half-filled basement when I moved.)  And as their health deteriorated, we added a lot of home health clutter to the mix.

Housework became an exercise in simply keeping up with the increasing mess, keeping critical things like kitchen, bath and bedrooms clean and relatively neat.  Dementia, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and a host of other, more minor ailments are not tidy afflictions.  You don’t cough delicately into a lace hanky and swoon on a velvet couch.  There are pills, and ointments, syringes, bandages, adult diapers, walkers, hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, canes, gait belts, commodes, and more dirty towels and garbage than you can begin to imagine. There are the useful gadgets to help with routine tasks and the not-so-useful gadgets that waste time, money and emotional energy.  There are piles of magazines and newspapers, piles of laundry and mail, stacks of games and toys intended to, if not improve cognitive function then at least slow the loss. We even had some sort of machine that was supposed to help Mom’s hip knit. (The bone never solidified.  Or something. What I recall of those days is imperfect.)  In short it’s a long, messy business and once it’s over there is a fantastic amount of stuff left, in this case on top of an already fantastic amount of stuff.

All of which is to say nothing of my own clutter, all the stuff I had, all the stuff I bought to make myself feel better.  (Bad habit.  Working on breaking it.)  When my folks passed I was left with a over 4,000 sq. ft. of stuff piled on stuff.

I promptly got about as sick as I’d ever been in my life, and while I was in a decongestant-induced haze I had a dealer come in and take what amounted to about 1/3rd of the stuff to sell. The money stopped coming a year or so ago, so I assume it all sold or has been given to charity. I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay.  And when I moved I still had about 4000 sq. ft. of stuff to move into about 2200 sq. ft. of space.  So for five years I’ve had boxes of stuff

Caddy looking down at his momstacked almost everywhere in this apartment.  Why? Well chalk some of it up to being lazy.  And depressed.  My family was gone and about eighteen months after I moved, my beloved Caddy died, too.

But I also think that some of this reluctance to get on with living here was because I simply didn’t know how or even if I wanted to.  It was an enormous change that I never really wanted to make.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did, all things considered.  But the whole process was something I never felt ready to cope with.

Our Alter Egos

Little by little I’ve been easing into this new place. We have a garden, and every time we plant a rose bush it’s really an act of faith.  The basement is finished.  We’ve gotten to know our neighbors. (Many of whom we both love to pieces.)  I’ve got a couple of rooms painted.  And last week I got everything in my bedroom squared away.  (Okay, to be fair, I still have one tote to empty, but it’s the odds and ends of cleaning. And the room needs painting.)  I’m building a sense of belonging that I desperately need if I ever want to feel at home here.

I love this place.  I don’t ever want to leave.  I think if I ever needed to leave it would kill me.  I suppose that would solve the problem, wouldn’t it?  I just need to let myself feel like it’s home.

This is what helps:


Glinda and the bathtub full of coffee

Glinda and the bathtub full of coffee (Photo credit: Tracy Rowan)

Christmas 2012





Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.

persimmonfrost: (caddy)

I just got a release date for novella “The Vampyre’s Revenge”  It’ll be published by Dreamspinner Press on February 13th.

Podgy fanboy Frank Vogel lives a dead-end life. He’s addicted to pop culture, Internet porn, and fantasies about Rebecca Hansen, a Buffy-like cheerleader from his high school days, but he yearns for something more. When he finds out Mrs. Carlson, his sweet, elderly landlady, is a vampire, a whole new world opens up to him. Blinded by dreams of sexy, mysterious vampires, Frank begs Mrs. Carlson to turn him. Against her better judgment, she does.

Unfortunately, Frank’s life doesn’t seem much different afterward. Then he runs into his unwitting nemesis, Will Chase–former high-school football team captain, former boyfriend to Rebecca–and makes gleeful plans to destroy him… until he discovers that he and Will have a lot in common.

This story was a lot of fun to write.  I don’t really remember where I got the original idea, probably from a conversation with my friends — most of whom are fans — about how maybe the world needed some vampires who weren’t broody, sexy, got-it-together bloodsuckers or shambling revenants.  What I wanted to write was a regular guy, a fan, someone smart but not happy or successful, who becomes a vampire almost by accident, and ends up finding love, also by accident.

I think it’s a sweet story.  I hope you all will, too.

Little vampire

Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.

persimmonfrost: (Gorey)



Seriously, why do people have to go through things like this? Over a YEAR ago I was in Ulta and when I checked out they said “Would you like a couple of sample issues of magazines?” Didn’t tell me what magazines or anything. I think I mumbled something about “I don’t know, maybe.” and apparently that was enough. I started getting Glamour and Allure in the mail. Yeah me getting Glamour and Allure. Stop laughing.

Anyway they showed up at various intervals and after looking at the first ones I started tossing them out, figuring they’d stop when the trial was over. But they kept on coming on and off all through 2011. I started giving the copies to my mail carrier when I thought about it. Then in December I noticed I’d been charged for subscriptions. $15 for each magazine. I called AmEx right away and disputed the charge. That was the last I heard.

Until today when I opened my mailbox and there was Glamour staring at me. So I phoned the customer service number and was told that when I mumbled “maybe” at Ulta I had authorized a free subscription (Never told that.) which would automatically renew on the credit card I’d used (Never told that.) after the free period. I got the magazines stopped and told the CS rep not to worry about the refund because I thought American Express would take care of it. However I went to the AmEx site, discovered that the dispute was marked “closed” and that the entire amount had been refunded to my account.

NYC - Times Square: Condé Nast Building


So now I’m really pissed off with Conde-Nast because that kind of marketing just sucks. I’m pissed off with Ulta for not making sure that I knew it was a subscription and not just samples (The reason I remember all this is that I thought she’d put the magazines in my bag and when I got home and they weren’t in there I thought she’d forgotten.) and I’m wondering if AmEx is eating the cost of the subscription. I’m not worried about them, I know they have more money than God, but it chaps my hide that they might just settle it like that rather than making C-N own up to practices which I think border on deceptive.

Auto-renew should be an opt-in thing, not something you need to opt-out of.  The burden should be on us to say “Yes, keep this coming” instead of “Hey, I don’t even LOOK at your damn magazine; stop sending it to me!”  I just wasted half an hour making phone calls, checking websites and being really, really irritated.

This is ridiculous.




Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.

persimmonfrost: (caddy)
Chicago Tribune building

Chicago Tribune building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Y’know I used to read the Trib on a regular basis when I lived at home. However I’ve had any number of delivery problems with them, the most recent being those damn Local Value and Red Plum papers that get strewn all over my porch, steps and lawn umpty gazillion times a week. Between that, the Nadig newspapers and flyers from the dozens of businesses that drop flyers all over my property each week, it’s a constant battle to keep this place looking neat. And the waste of paper and plastic is phenomenal which I find highly offensive.

I have phoned the Tribune at the number on the ad papers, I have emailed them, I’ve told the delivery people who I can catch not to leave the papers, but NOTHING stops them. They’re like zombies, they just keep on coming. I have been promised that the deliveries will stop on several occasions, but it’s a lie; nothing stops them.

Well I just emailed them again and made them a promise: I am going to write about this wherever I have a forum. I am going to contact all their advertisers and tell them that I will not buy from them if they support the ad papers. I am going to do everything in my power to deliver a good solid kick to the collective backside of the Tribune ad paper department and keep on kicking until these damn deliveries stop.

This isn’t difficult. I spoke to the folks who deliver Hoy and they were very nice about it. I never got another paper. So why can’t the Tribune do the same? Is it because they employ lazy-ass delivery people who fling the papers from their car windows so that the sidewalk, parkway and steps are always covered in these things?

If you hate this kind of waste, I suggest you get on them too. Don’t just think that it’s something you have to pick up and toss away because that’s the way things are in Chicago. Screw that! Hit back. Phone them at 800-874-2863 or email them at

Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.

persimmonfrost: (caddy)

It’s cookie-baking weather.  I’ve gotten three contest entries so far and they’re all good.  Someone post one that sends me over the moon, willya?  Remember this is for a free copy of Devil in the Details from Silver Publishing.

And now I have to go send DCMA notices to about a dozen bittorrent sites.  I fucking hate piracy.

Related Ways to Take Action:
Powered by Social Actions

Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.

persimmonfrost: (caddy)

The Units in front of the garden

I was adopted at birth.  I know a little about my biological family because it was a private adoption, and my two sets of parents met.  Apparently my biological mother wanted to meet the woman who would become my mother because she felt that as long as Mom was a good person I’d be okay.  I have a lot of reason to be grateful to her because I was eminently okay. Due respect to the people who made me, but the folks to the left were the only parents I ever knew or wanted.  I’ve had friends who badgered me about finding my biological family and while I admit to some curiosity, it was never enough to provoke me to go searching.  As I like to say, ask Pandora about opening boxes.

Still, I am sometimes curious. Mom told me that my mother was a little woman; I’m not.  Apparently I take after my biological father who was a big man with a lazy eye, a problem I had as a child. Years later that was just another clue that I had Native American blood, a fact confirmed by my dentist who checked my teeth and said “Yup, you’re missing the Carabelli Cusp.”  I also think I have a small talon cusp on my incisors.  The missing Carabelli is something peculiar to NA and Pacific island populations, and the talon is pretty strictly Native American.  I have a lot of other minor traits that point to NA ancestry.  So I did get to wondering what I’d find if I had my DNA analyzed.

I had the mitochondrial (mother’s) DNA test done as part of the National Genographic Project back in 2007 when it cost something like $20.  What I got back was really confusing and pointed to some interesting origins — not NA, that would have come from my bio father.  My haplogroup is U6a (The Cheddar Man was a U5. Interestingly enough the U6 haplogroup is not found among Native American populations,) and the origins I discovered are: CameroonOuldeme, Cameroon – PodokwoCape Verde, England, France, Hungary, Iraq – Mizrachi, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Poland – Ashkenazi, Portugal, Tunisia – Sephardic, Ukraine, United Kingdom.  If I understand the results correctly I can also claim kinship with certain north and west Africans and three different Jewish groups, Mizrachi, Ashkenaz, and Sephardic.  I find that pretty damn exciting.  Am I proud?  Hell yes, I’m proud.  They’re distant connections but I’m thrilled to have them.  And we’re travelers. Here’s a map of the frequency distribution of the U haplogroups:

Apparently my bio mother’s people are from France and Denmark.

What is this in aid of?  I guess it’s about saying that family is a lot of different things.  There’s the family of love and affinity, the one I had for so many years, a family of choice rather than blood, but no less strong or meaningful because of it.  There’s the biological family that gives you things like the shape of your teeth and the color of your eyes.  And there are greater families, genetic or just the human family that encompasses everyone who has ever lived and will ever live.  Differences seem pointless when considered in light of all the generations that made each one of us.

You want to know something crazy?  I look like my adoptive parents.  I have similar physical ailments.  And I’m the same sort of eccentric they were.  You want to put some kind of mystical had-to-happen spin on that, feel free.  I sometimes do.  We are who we are for reasons we may never entirely understand.  I find that comforting; it allows us to be so much more.

Related Ways to Take Action:
Powered by Social Actions

Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.

persimmonfrost: (caddy)

I see a lot of stories about dogs and cats who have been rescued and a few of them have really touched me.  One of them is the story of Boo, a bulldog puppy with hydrocephalus. With permission from Boo’s mom, Diane Messer, I’m going to post his (and her) story here so you understand a bit of what’s going on with him.

Boo is a 7 week old bulldog/beagle mix I ran into while looking on… I periodically check on there for puppies/kittens/etc that may need handraised, which I consider my specialty and I very much enjoy. I’ve always wanted a bulldog so I saw the ad for him and his siblings. My chihuahua has a mild case of hydrocephalus and so from previous research I knew what he had immediately. I contacted the people who had him and they had stated he was kind of sickly and smaller than the other babies. I told them I would take him since I’ve seen his problem before… so two days later I had a transport meet them in Indianapolis to pick him up… it was a five hour run for him and boy he was tuckered out!

The next morning we took him to see my regular vet, who is an older guy but usually he’s really good… just not this time. He confirmed it is hydrocephalus, weighed him (3.9lbs)… and gave him a dose of Panacur and sent one dose home… But he refused to give him anything to help with the fluid in his head, even though I had researched and had been given advice on what medications would help… wrote those down, had them in hand. All he would say that day was “There is no cure for it.” which of course I already knew! Tomorrow we see a vet in my town (8/27/12) and hopefully she will be patient and kind enough to listen… without reccommending he be automatically put to sleep. If she doesn’t help, then we will be taking a trip to KY to an actual neurologist vet. We plan to do whatever has to be done to help Boo. I figure there’s a reason I ran into his little picture.

As for me, I am a 31 year old mother of three (ages 12, 11, and 9) who is a stay-at-home mom and technically disabled. The dogs/puppies/etc that I rescue and eventually rehome give my life some kind of meaning. I don’t understand why but I just go with it. It makes me happy… and I’m sure it makes them happy too. :)

I started following Boo’s Facebook page and was so impressed by the care his family is giving him that I decided to donate a little something to his ChipIn.  It wasn’t much; I don’t have a lot to give away, but it seemed like a good cause.

Unfortunately a couple of days ago, Boo began to act oddly.  His vet wasn’t available so he was taken to a new vet (Tracey Gillespie at the IVEC) who told Diane that he had a heart murmur (In itself not always a huge problem) and he might be suffering from congestive heart failure. (A bigger issue to be sure, but not one that will necessarily kill him any time soon.  My father lived with CHF for a quarter of a century, and was not a man to take great care of himself!

What this means though, is at best the diagnostics, vet visits and treatments for both the heart problems and the hydrocephalus are going to cost a lot of money. Boo’s family is committed to his welfare and will do everything possible to see that he has a good life for as long as it’s possible.  His mom has said that if the time comes when he does not have a good quality of life, then they will do what needs to be done.  I find this reassuring.

I’m writing this not to ask you to donate money, though if you want to, that’s great.  Rather, I’m asking you to spread the word about Boo.  If this story gets picked up by the media, someone out there may be able to help them with the astronomical costs related to the surgeries this little guy may face.  I know money is tight for most of us.  But it’s easy to post and repost.

Now you may ask how I know that Diane is on the up-and-up, and that’s a fair question.  After having followed Boo’s saga for a while now, I have to say that my opinion is that if it’s a hoax she has a LOT of people working with her and it’s a very well thought-out hoax.  But when I asked her for copies of Boo’s bills, she responded immediately and I’m going to link to them here so you can look for yourselves:  Here is the bill from the Eastside Veterinary Hospital and this one is from Indianapolis Veterinary Referral where Dr. Gillespie took care of Boo.

So if you’re of a mind to help either by passing along this story, or donating a few bucks to the chip in, that would be great.  This little guy is going to end up putting a big dent in his family’s budget.  But — and I recognize that not everyone will understand or agree with me on this — our four-legged kids are family too, and we don’t give up on them unless they’re suffering.  Boo is not suffering.  He’s happy, and with luck one day he’ll be relatively healthy.

Thanks for your attention.

Related Ways to Take Action:
Powered by Social Actions

Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.


Aug. 26th, 2012 03:51 pm
persimmonfrost: (Default)

Therese, originally uploaded by Tracy Rowan.

Her blossoms don’t last long, but while they do they smell heavenly.

Mirrored from Persimmon Frost.


persimmonfrost: (Default)
Tracy Rowan

August 2013

4 5678910


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

  • Style: Cozy Blanket for Ciel by nornoriel

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:35 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios